David Beckham. The subversive plot.

I can never tell if Americans really know when they’re being sold to. It’s almost as if there is so much selling here that the concept has become an irrelevance. One generally presumes that if someone is talking to you, or even if someone exists, they are doing it simply to sell you something.

I think, therefore I sell.

Although I know there is still some question mark about the thinking part of that pair of deeply bons mots.

The excitement about the arrival of pretty little David Beckham is, of course, entirely understandable. He’s pretty. And he seems to know Tom Cruise. Who is pretty little.

Yet it’s almost laughable to think that Becks, as he is officially known everywhere but German beer bottling plants, has come here for the, um, football.

Here is what David Beckham does well: He kicks the ball accurately from a still position. (him and the ball)

Here is what David Beckham does not do so well: Control the game. Beat an opponent. Run. Dazzle with any skill other than kicking the ball accurately from a still position.


It is a little as if an NFL team had signed a very, very pretty kicker. With a wife that looks (and smiles) like a goalpost.

If you’ve lived long enough to have seen a few things, you’ll know that there is many a (pretty) penny to be earned from having a soothing affect on the retina.

Major League Soccer, who has just resigned his commission after two years in Iraq, is banking on Hispanic people having more children than those selfish, heartless, godless white folks. Hispanic people, quite sensibly, have a great affection for football, er, saaaacker. Their children will also share this affection. Which means that once they are grown and fully strangled by the American tax system, there will be enough of them prepared to watch saacker on television.

Mr. Beckham’s arrival is merely a dummy (indeed) run for the introduction of famous/great players into the United States in the next 10 or 20 years.

Right now, the hope is that the clamor for his glamor will make Hispanic TV stations offer more money to televize these substandard games.

The NFL’s (and therefore the Repubican Party’s) biggest nightmare is that the Hispanic community has very little interest in large men pausing for commercials before banging their helmets together and grabbing each other’s genitalia. One doesn’t exactly see California’s parks crawling with Hispanic touch football players on a Sunday morning.

So David Beckham represents an attempt to totally subvert American culture. In a sense, he is sport’s version of Jose Padilla, a man working with the enemy in order to attack the freedoms that Americans cherish so much: dogfighting, going to nightclubs and throwing $80,000 in the air etc etc.

Of course, Americans can be reassured that someone of limited skills who doesn’t speak English very well is unlikely to suddenly gain much power over the delicate psyche of the American male.


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